Sex & STDs

“I’ve been dating this boy for 4 months. He wants to have sex, but I don’t think I’m ready. What should I do?” – 15-year-old

ADOLESCENCE is a time when your body is changing, you are becoming more independent and you might be increasingly curious about sex.

SEXUAL HEALTH encompasses sexual development and reproductive health, as well as such characteristics as the ability to develop and maintain meaningful relationships; appreciate one’s own body; interact with both genders in respectful and appropriate ways; and express affection, love and intimacy in ways consistent with one’s own values. The majority of teenagers will become involved with sex during their adolescent years. The first thing one needs to do is to become informed about what sex is and what the options are. Once you have been informed of the potential risks involved with different types of sexual activities, it’s up to you to determine what your limits are; what you are willing or not willing to do.

It is important to appreciate your own body by:

  • Understanding changes due to puberty
  • Viewing pubertal changes as normal
  • Undergoing regular check-ups
  • Understanding how your body feels

It is important to take responsibility for your own behaviors by:

  • Identifying your own values
  • Deciding what is personally ‘right’ and acting on it
  • Understanding the consequences of your actions
  • Understanding that media messages can create unrealistic expectations related to sexuality and intimate relationships
  • Distinguishing the difference between personal desires from that of your peer group
  • Understanding how alcohol and other drugs can impair decision making
  • Understanding the consequences of sexual behaviors
  • Accepting people with different values and experiences

It is important to have the skills to determine your readiness for a sexual relationship by:

  • Talking with your partner about sexual behaviors before they occur
  • Communicating and negotiating sexual limits
  • Differentiating between low and high risk sexual behaviors
  • If having intercourse, protecting yourself and your partner from unintended pregnancy and diseases through effective use of contraception and condoms
  • Knowing how to use and access the health care system, community agencies, religious institutions and is comfortable to seek advice, information and services as needed.

STI’s/Sexually transmitted infections (also called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)) are not shameful and they are not a punishment – they are simply diseases that, if not treated, can seriously damage your health.


  • You can get an STI at any age and get it again and again.
  • You can get an STI through oral sex.
  • Most STIs are treatable but there is no vaccine to prevent them.
  • Herpes can be controlled but is not curable.
  • It is possible to have an STI without feeling sick or noticing any changes in your body.
  • You can NOT tell if another person has an STI just by looking at him or her.
  • Tests for STIs are confidential. You do not need your parents’ permission.
  • The longer an STI goes untreated, the more damage it can do to your body.
  • If you have an STI, your sexual partner or partners have also been exposed. Tell them. (If you get treated and they do not, they can re-infect you.)
  • You can NOT catch STIs from toilet seats, door knobs or through casual contacts like handshakes.


Anyone who is sexually active can get sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called venereal diseases or sexually transmitted infections. The main way to get an STD is through sexual intercourse or any other sexual contact with someone who already has it.

Included in these diseases are:

  • HIV
  • Herpes
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Venereal warts
  • Chlamydia


  • Use a latex condom
  • Do not have sex with anyone who has sores, discharges, or blisters around their mouth or sex organs.

WARNING:If not treated, STDs can result in serious damage, including heart disease, blindness, deafness, non- healing skin sores, paralysis, sterility (inability to have children), damage to unborn baby, even death. IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE AN STD, GET TESTED NOW! Tests are confidential and you don’t need parental permission.


  • AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a killer and there is no cure. It can happen to anyone. However, there are some treatments available that may prolong life. AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
  • HIV may live in the human body for many years before the infected person becomes sick. HIV gets into a person’s bloodstream and attacks the body’s immune system, leaving the body defenseless and unable to fight off infections and diseases.


  • AIDS can be spread by sexual contact with an infected person. It can be transmitted through the exchange of fluids during vaginal or anal intercourse and during oral sex with an infected person.
  • AIDS can be spread from blood to blood contact—for example, by sharing needles and syringes with users of illegal drugs, or by transfusion of contaminated blood.
  • Babies of women who have been infected with HIV may be born with the infection because it can be transmitted from the mother of the baby before or during birth and through breastfeeding.
  • AIDS is not spread by casual contact in schools, at parties, in swimming pools or in the workplace.
  • You can’t catch AIDS by hugging, shaking hands or simply being near a person who is infected with the virus. No person has ever been infected by an insect bite or an animal.


  • DON’T DO DRUGS. Especially needle drugs. NEVER share a needle with anyone.
  • If sexual intercourse is now a part of your life, USE LATEX CONDOMS OR RUBBERS. During any kind of sex—vaginal, oral or anal — use latex condoms and a spermicide. But remember that condoms are not foolproof; they are not 100% safe.
  • NOT having sexual intercourse is the surest way to avoid HIV/AIDS.


AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA)

Provides education, individualized assessment, case management, medical, pharmacological, legal, mental health, dental, residential, and work services along with support groups and a food pantry program.

611 S Kingsley Dr,
Los Angeles, CA 90005

M 7am–9pm & Tu-Th 7am-10pm & F 7am–8pm



AIDS Test Sites, El Monte

By appointment only.  Free STD screening.

10418 Valley Blvd,
El Monte, CA 91731

W 2:30pm-7pm

(800) 576-5544

AIDS Test Sites, Long Beach

Confidential HIV and STD testing. Walk-in. Free family planning services.

2525 Grand Ave,
Long Beach, CA 90815

M-F 11am-10pm &


Alta Med Health Services

CAL-LEARN and Adolescent Family Life Programs: 800-337-8665. Hearing Impaired: 800-735-2922. General medical services for teens in LA county. MediCal accepted. Free services available to low income patients. Bilingual.

2040 Camfield Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90040

M-Th 10am-6pm & F 8am-5pm


Arroyo Vista Family Health Center

Appointment recommended. Family planning, basic clinic services, HIV testing, birth control. Sliding fees. Bilingual. Various Locations including Highland Park.  

6000 N Figueroa St,
Los Angeles, CA 90042

M–F 8am-7pm & Sat 8am-4:30pm


Asian Pacific Health Care Venture Clinic, Los Feliz

Free HIV testing. Walk in. Health education programs. After-school activities. Thai, Cambodian, Japanese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese spoken. 

1530 Hillhurst Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90027

M,W,F 7:30am-5pm & Tu,Th 7:30am-7pm & Sat 7:30am-4pm


Bell Gardens Family Medical Center

Family planning, general medical. Pregnancy, birth control, free STD testing. Bilingual. 

6501 Garfield Ave,
Bell Gardens, CA 90201

M-F 8am-5:30pm & Sat 8am-1pm


Bienestar La Casa LGBT Youth Center

Groups on weekends and evenings. Community center for Latino youth. FREE support groups, one-on-one counseling, weekly gatherings and social events, 10 minute rapid HIV testing.

Hollywood Center 323-660-9680
Van Nuys Center 818-908-3820
Long Beach 562-438-5200
Pomona Center 909-397-7660

5326 E Beverly Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90022

M-F 10am-7pm


CA Family Planning Information (Family PACT)

Confidential reproductive care services including emergency, short, long and permanent contraception; birth control; STD/HIV testing; cancer screening; family planning and counseling.

Sacramento, CA


California AIDS, STD, and Hepatitis Hotline

415-863-2437 (in SF and outside CA)

Referrals to anonymous test sites. Information and support. HIV Prevention. Services offered in English, Spanish and Filipino.


M-F 9am-5pm


Don’t Think Know

Provides free STD, HIV/AIDS testing and other services. 

241 N Figueroa St,
Los Angeles, CA 90012



East Los Angeles Women’s Center

Serves women ages 13 and over, crisis intervention for sexual assault and domestic violence victims. HIV/AIDS services. Community outreach and prevention programs. No Fees. Peer counseling. Support group on domestic violence – Tuesday mornings only.

1255 S Atlantic Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90022

M-F 9am-6pm



East Valley Community Health Center West Covina

Mental health counseling, job training resources, legal assistance, medical and dental assistance, pregnancy/birth control/family planning services, and sexuality/sexually transmitted diseases for teens.

Other office: 1555 S Garey Ave #680, Pomona, (909)-620-8088

420 South Glendora Avenue,
West Covina, CA 91790

M-Th 8am - 7pm & F 8am - 5pm & Sat 8am-2pm

(626) 919-4333

Help Line – Riverside

Crisis and suicide hotline. Free and confidential. Information and referrals to any type of services within the community including food, shelter, medical care, counseling.

Riverside, CA

7 Days 24 hours


Herpes Resource Center

All numbers are 24 hour recording. Orange County: 949-753-2580. Additional: or 919-361-8488. Hotline services, advocacy work and a network of support groups. The HRC focuses on increasing education, public awareness and support to anyone concerned about herpes. 

Santa Monica, CA 90406


High Risk Youth Clinic – Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles

Free primary medical care for acute and chronic conditions for youth 12 to 24. Free STD/HIV testing and treatment; contraception/gynecology; and health screening.

5000 Sunset Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027

M-F 9am-5:30pm



I Wanna Know

Website provides information about sex, STI’s, relationships, pregnancy, LGBTQ, contraception, etc.


It’s Your (Sex) Life

Information campaign that supports young people in making responsible decisions about their sexual health. The campaign focuses on reducing unintended pregnancy, preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, and open communication with partners and healthcare providers.

National Planned Parenthood

Provides bilingual resources and referrals to any area in the U.S.

M-F 7am-6pm & Sat 7:30am-4pm



National STD and AIDS Hotline

Information and referrals for clinics nationwide. Also free publications on HIV, STD’s, etc. 

1600 Clifton Rd NE,
Atlanta, GA 30329

M-F 8am-6pm


PBS Kids – ‘It’s My Life’ Website

Website offers information to youth about puberty.


Peer Education Program of Los Angeles, Inc. (PEP/LA)

Provide peer education and training to multicultural youth to talk directly, accurately and honestly with teenagers about HIV/AIDS prevention. Call for events in the community.

6399 Wilshire Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90048



Project Angel Food

Delivers frozen meals weekly to individuals with life-threatening diseases.

922 Vine St,
Los Angeles, CA 90038

M-F 8am-5pm & Sun 8am-12:30pm



Risk Reduction Program at Children’s Hospital

Free HIV testing, counseling, and treatment for ages 12-24

M-F 8:30am-12:00pm, 1pm-4pm

Riverside Neighborhood Family Health Center

HIV/AIDS services; provides primary care physicians, urgent care, teen clinic, consultations, teen pregnancy help; Wednesday 1pm-4pm prescriptions filled. 

7140 Indiana Ave,
Riverside, CA 92504

M-F 7:30am–5pm




Website that offers inclusive, supportive information and resources on sexuality and relationships for teens to include message boards, live chat and text services.

(206) 866-2279 (Text Line)

Sex, etc…

Website that provides sex education, peer advice, information about safe sex, pregnancy, contraception, etc.

South Bay Family Health Care Center

For appts: 310-802-6170
Appt. Hours: M,W,F 8am-4:30pm T/Th 9am-5:30pm
General clinic. All services FREE or by donation. Birth control, pregnancy testing, prenatal, & pediatric care. Confidential HIV & STD testing & counseling. Serves Gardena, Redondo Beach, Carson, & Inglewood

23430 Hawthorne Blvd,
Torrance, CA 90505

M-Th 8am-7pm & F 8am-4:30pm


STI Hotline of the American Social Health Association

Info & referrals for clinics nationwide & about safe sex and STI treatment. Also free publications on HIV, STD’s ,etc.

Also English: 800-342-2437 & 800-344-7432

Center for Disese Control & TTY Hotline: 800-243-7889

M-F 8am-8pm E.T or


Teen Source

Online resource the provides sexual health information for youth to encourage informed decision making. Provides links and resources. 

3600 Wilshire Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90010


Teenage Health Center – Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles

Serves youth aged 12-24. Provides medical care, STD/HIV testing and treatment, birth control, pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, transgender services, immunizations, urgent care, physical exams, and care for chronic conditions. Bilingual. 

4650 Sunset Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027

M-F 9am-5:30pm



The Center of Greater Long Beach

Free HIV/STI testing and treatment by appointment.

Youth drop-in center M-F 3pm – 7pm.

Young adult support groups W 8pm-9pm. Coming out Support Group on Fri 7pm-9pm.

Counseling, health education, free HIV/STD testing by appointment.

Youth mentorship M-F 3pm-7pm

2017 E 4th St,
Long Beach, CA 90814

M-F 10am-9pm & Sat 10pm-4pm



Pregnancy testing and non-judgmental options counseling; family planning; prenatal care; abortion services; STD testing and treatment. 

UCLA Medical Plaza,
Los Angeles, CA 90095

M-F 8am-4:30pm


Valley Teen Clinic

Pay by donation. Bilingual. Reproductive health services. STD and HIV testing, birth control and emergency contraception.

6801 Coldwater Canyon Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 91605

M 4pm-8pm & W 10am-8pm & Th 10am-5pm & Sat 1am-3pm


Venice Family Clinic

Medical services, pregnancy testing, STD testing, prenatal & family planning, general primary care for all ages. 

604 Rose Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90291

M-Th 8am-5pm & F 8am-4pm



Venice Family Clinic – Common Ground

Venice Family Clinic’s Common Ground program offers a full range of services to prevent the spread of HIV and for people living with HIV. We embrace a harm reduction model, which means we provide services to help you meet your health goals in a non-judgmental environment. Our goal is to help our community’s most vulnerable residents live longer, healthier lives.

622 Rose Ave,
Venice, CA 90291

Mon-Thur 9am-8pm & Fri 9am – 5pm


Browse More Youth Yellow Pages